I have visited Venice several times and each time I insist it will be my last. This beautiful city is overrun with selfie-stick tourists, the prices are outrageous and local Venetians seem quite put out with the hoards of visitors which invade their precious city daily.
Sheila and I are introducing David (Sheila’s brother) and his wife Nancy to Italy for the first time. Before exploring Italy’s beautiful countryside, we felt the necessity of exposing them to the Big Three: Venice, Florence and Rome. Needless to say, we will be spending considerable time in Tuscany where the pace is far more laid-back.
David and Nancy’s airplane arrived 4 hours late so our daylight world wind tour was scrapped. Not a problem: Venice is best seen at night with seductive lighting and few tourists.
The New York Times recently published an article on what you should eat in Venice: Cicchetti. Cicchetti
Taking a water-taxi from the airport to Fundamento 9, we quickly deposited our bags at our favorite Venetian hotel We Crociferi. Crociferi is actually a “youth” hostel, but they actually tolerate a few old fogies if you are fortunate enough to find their elusive website and can successfully navigate their byzantine registration system.
A word of caution: We Crociferi has changed its name to Combo, apparently to appeal to yuppies. Neither I nor the receptionist are particularly happy with the name change.
Sheila and I quickly got a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant and then she gallantly returned to the Airport to escort David and Nancy back to the hotel.
She arrived just in time to catch our dinner reservations at Osteria Trefanti. This is a small restaurant near the train station that serves great food at affordable prices, Reservations are essential so do book early.
Dinner Selections at Osteria Trefanti
- Baccala Mantecato – Butter baccala as an appetizer
- Tagliatelle al Doge – Delicious egg tagliatelle with shellfish
- Baby squid on fregola – Appetizer
- Swordfish with vegetables
- Branzino with vegetables
Following dinner, we walked to St. Mark’s Square. The weather was cold and damp and we managed to sit-down at Caffe Florian (oldest cafe in Europe c1720) for a coffee and an Aperol spritz while we were entertained by an aging orchestra.
Walking around Venice at night is magical. The mysterious pathways and canals creates an almost mystical experience. Best of all, there are not too many tourists.
While we were anxious to get started early the next morning, we found ourselves exhausted. Following a brief walkabout and several coffees, we left this wonderful city on a train for Florence.
For more information of visit, see details of our 2016 visit as reported on our sister website gourmay.net:
- Part 1 – Navigating Venice
- Part 2 – See Venice and Die
- Part 3 – I Wish I Had Died Before I Saw the Biennale